Name: McAlister, Sam (1898-1963)

Historical Note:

Dr. Sam McAlister was a native of Venus, Texas. From 1917-1919 he attended North Texas State Normal College (now the University of North Texas). He was one of the editors of the college yearbook, the Yucca. He served in the Student Army Training Corps of the U. S. Army. He left to teach in the Texas public school from 1919 to 1925. He would receive his Bachelor of Arts and Master’s degrees in 1925 from the University of Texas. He continued his graduate studies by attending Harvard University in 1928-1929.  He earned his Ph. D from the University of North Texas in 1931. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

            Dr. McAlister was the director of the government department. He was also active beyond the school. He served as the chair of the Denton Charter Commission. That body wrote the Denton, Texas charter which set out the framework for a council-manager form of government. He was a member of the Kiwanis Club for 30 years. He served on the National Resources board in 1936. In 1938 he was the first assistant state superintendent of education. He served as the head of the consumer materials branch of the Dallas regional office of the Office of Price Administration during World War II. He was the president of the Southwestern Social Science Association in 1942. He was an advisor to the Gilmer-Aikin Committee on public school laws in 1947-1948. He served as the District 5 president of the Texas state Teachers Association in 1948.  In 1950-53, he was an advisor to the Texas Legislative Council on Educational Matters.

            Dr. McAlister was a fellow of the Texas Academy of Science and a member of Pi Sigma Alpha (the national honorary fraternity in political science). In 1960, he was awarded the ‘Fessor Graham Award from the students of UNT.

            He was the author of People and Government; Government and Law of the Texas Public School System; Citizenship in Our Democracy (co-authored); and State and Local Government in Texas.

Records or Manuscript Collections Created by McAlister, Sam

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